Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 Review

Barrell Craft Spirits was founded in 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky with the intent to blend various products, exploring different distillation techniques, barrels, and aging environments, and then bottle these unique blends at cask strength. They have become the recognized masters of high-quality blended whiskey, which isn’t surprising because their motto is, “Blended to never blend in.” So, I’ll grab a pour and start this Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 review.

Notes from the Barrell Spirits website:
Barrell Bourbon Batch 035 is a blend of 6, 7, 8, and 13-year-old bourbons. A multi-mashbill blend of 6 and 7-year-old spicy and earthy, high-rye, high-proof, oak forward barrels was combined with a blend of 8-year-old softer, lower-proof barrels with concentrated notes of dark cherry and butterscotch. After mingling for two months, 13-year-old barrels with dominant fruit flavors were layered in. A portion of these barrels had more tropical fruit notes and the other portion showed more dried and candied fruit notes. The resulting bourbon is peppery and intriguing on the nose, and sweet and long on the finish.

The blend of bourbons come from 3 states of distillation: Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.
– Indiana: 6, 7, & 8 years old
– Tennessee: 7 & 13 years old
– Kentucky: 8 years old

Over the past 12 months, Barrell Craft Spirits has undergone a series of significant changes that have transformed the company’s operations and product offerings.

One of the most notable developments is Barrell’s acquisition of their own warehouse facility. This strategic move allows the company to have greater control over the storage and aging of their spirits, enabling them to optimize the maturation process and ensure the highest quality of their products.

Additionally, Barrell has made adjustments to the pricing of their offerings. The popular Gray Label line, for instance, will now be available at a more accessible price point of $150, down from the previous $250. This change aims to make Barrell’s premium spirits more accessible to a wider range of consumers.

Furthermore, Barrell has introduced several new and exciting products to their portfolio. These include the Private Release Rye, the Amburana Finish, and the return of their highly sought-after rye whiskey batch releases. These new offerings showcase Barrell’s commitment to innovation and their dedication to providing their customers with a diverse and exceptional range of craft spirits.

It appears that they are also changing the quantity of their batched bourbon releases, down to two releases per year rather than four.

These developments at Barrell Craft Spirits over the past year demonstrate the company’s adaptability, forward-thinking approach, and unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional products and experiences to their loyal customer base.

Series: Barrell numbered releases
Classification: Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 6 years (blend of 6, 7, 8, 13 year)
Proof: 117.5
Proof Designation: Cask Strength
Filtered Status: Non-Chill Filtered
Mash bill: 78% Corn, 18% Rye, 4% Malted Barley (aggregated blend)
Barrel Char Level: ??
Barrel Entry Proof: ??
Distillery: Undisclosed distilleries in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee
Company: Barrell Craft Spirits
Bottled By: Barrell Craft Spirits
Distilled/Aging Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Master Distiller: BCS blending team
Release Date: August 2023
Batch Notes: batch size is 19,062 bottles
MSRP: $90
Secondary Market: na
Availability: Easy to find

Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 review
Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 Review

My tasting reviews are unique in that I include the notes of several well-known whiskey critics. The hope is that this format will help me and others to explore and expand their tasting experience. After you have taken your own tasting notes, read the reviews and see if there is a flavor note that others discerned that now you can detect as well.

Legs

Beads began to form on the crown after about 7 seconds, legs started to form at about 20 seconds, and it took about 67 seconds for the first legs to reach the bowl.

Nose

A very fruity nose with scents of mango, sweet cherry, figs, apricot, sweet apple, toffee, brandy-soaked vanilla, and sweet oak.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Breaking Bourbon: Caramel | Light anise | Candy corn | Sweet & inviting.

Amongst the Whiskey: Cherry, plum and rich oak land up front. Salted caramel cookie, buttercream frosting and oodles of spice swing in on subsequent inhales. It’s a dry bakery spice that’s prevalent throughout, contrasting the sweeter hints that can be found between the larger, undulating waves of aroma. Ultimately crisp & clean with no sharp edges – this has the makings of a crushable pour.

Notes of a well stocked woodshed and creamy marshmallow. Late in the glass things become quite delicate and well balanced with the fruit tones returning in spades alongside milk chocolate. The empty glass smells of walnut, mint pistachio ice cream and strawberry cotton candy.

Bourbon Culture: The opening of the nose is tropical fruit-heavy with the likes of mango, coconut milk, banana and dates. Sweetness comes by way of caramel and saltwater taffy. There is a sort of damp earth scent that I can’t get past either. I don’t think I’ve ever found that in a bottle from Barrell. Sharp, somewhat youthful notes of acetone and citrus-based acid are just a tiny sliver of the things I find in the nose, but should be mentioned here. They don’t ruin the dram, they’re just interesting to find.

Palate

The first impression is clean, light, fruity flavors with light caramel and brandy-soaked vanilla followed by mild baking spices (cinnamon, allspice) and mild notes of sweet oak. Some sweet leather, hint of banana, raisins, currants, white pepper, caramelized sugar, butterscotch and perhaps toasted pecans.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Breaking Bourbon: Caramel creams | Graham cracker | Creme brulee | Toffee | Milky Way candy bar | Buttered cornbread | Cocoa.

Amongst the Whiskey: My first sip throws out gobs of dried fruit – cherry skins, blackberry, allspice, and nutmeg form a solid base that coats the mouth. Mouthfeel is quite important to me and this has that magical viscosity that settles gently onto the tongue, delivers solid flavor and never gets out of hand. Another sip and swish adds in all the spice you need and none of that you don’t. Cinnamon, coriander and a flash of smoked paprika ultimately give a quick punch before relinquishing control of the taste buds, allowing browned butter, leather and oak to dance in typical bourbon fashion. My last sip is like a sweet Milky Way bar nuanced with touches of cherry in a long, subtle linger that drinks well below its proof.

Bourbon Culture: Each sip comes off as somewhat young, yet full of peppery spice and fruit. Cinnamon and anise are amplified while cornbread soothes things over. Sweetness and fruit come by way of raisins, dates, grape juice concentrate, and citrus flesh. Tannins don’t taste entirely integrated because a young-ish oak flavor along with new leather sticks out. Cocoa powder adds a chocolate and somewhat alkaline profile too.. Overall mouthfeel is syrupy. It’s a fascinating blend of flavors that make each sip challenging, yet rewarding to pick apart.

Finish

The finish is medium-long with caramel, vanilla, light oak, mild baking spices, a hint of banana and pecans.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Breaking Bourbon: Buttercream frosting | Caramel | Baking spices | Well balanced.

Amongst the Whiskey: A long, subtle linger that drinks well below its proof.

Bourbon Culture: Youthful and bright fruit notes come from citrus zest, cherries, coconut flesh linger after the sip is complete. But don’t let yourself think that this is a mild finish. There’s plenty of wild and unruly spice notes – both likely stemming from the rye in the combined mash bills. It’s a finish that will remind you that this is a 117+ proof bourbon you’re drinking. The oak gets drier as the session goes on and the spices evolved into more of a black pepper tone.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel is pleasantly creamy, coating the tongue and bringing down the heat from the proof and the baking spices.

The Burn

4 out of 5. This means that the burn from the alcohol is a bit lower (5% to 9%) than what I would expect it to be. I would guess this to be around 110 proof, not 117.5 proof.

Tasting Summary

Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 has clean, light, fruity flavors with light caramel and vanilla followed by mild baking spices (cinnamon, allspice) and mild oak tannins. It has a nice complexity and a satisfying mouthfeel.

My Rating – Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 Review

The higher the score the better the whiskey is in my opinion. For reference, my best rated bottle so far is the George T. Stagg 2022 (138.7p) with a score of 9.7.

Score TypeScoreExamples
Likability Score7.91.0 – 10.0
Availability Score41-Rare, 2-Hard to Find, 3-A Little Hunting, 4-Easy to Find
My Tasting Notes

A blank version of this tasting notes wheel is available in both a color and a black & white version in the member’s area.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 Tasting Notes

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